RubyFlow The Ruby and Rails community linklog


The Ruby and Rails community linklog

Made a library? Written a blog post? Found a useful tutorial? Share it with the Ruby community here or just enjoy what everyone else has found!

Which Ruby Libraries or Tools Deserve More Exposure?

I’m often mentioning amazing Ruby libraries or tools I’ve seen to people and assume they must have heard of them (examples: Chronic, Ramaze, Feedzirra). Often, people are surprised and delighted to learn about new stuff I thought was common knowledge. So what libraries or tools do you think are underrated or poorly exposed? I bet there’s a ton of stuff I’d find interesting that you know about that I’ve never seen before. Let’s all share and enjoy :)


I’d add JRuby to my list. Almost everyone’s heard of it, but I think it’s much maligned and underrated.

I think ThinkingSphinx deserve a lot more exposure - this library is so useful.

By far the most used library I use in pretty much all projects is rel=”nofollow” >state_machine. It’s like AASM done right. No more crappy is_published or is_active fields. Nice event hooks and very handy .dot output via graphiz

I’d add emphasis to JRuby and suggest Compass, sinatra/base, & probably scRUBYt! If you don’t already use Rack middleware, well, then I’d start there …

This is one of the reasons I created rubytrends, to help find these projects that are under the popular radar.

I agree with Thibaut regarding ThinkingSphinx, I use it on the site. It was tremendously easy to add in, shockingly so.

I’m also finding a lot of uses for Sinatra at my day job in SOA.

sorry, itchy trigger finger. that should have been a +1 form Ramaze and I’d also like to nominate fakeweb, cheat, and ack

+1 for Ramaze.

I mentioned Ramaze to several people at RailsConf and not a one had heard of it. Even pretty well known folks too.

+1 for Ramaze too. We have to spread the word!

Ramaze ! (Although I am always worried that too much light will Railsify Ramaze)

Thanks for pointing to Chronic, I have a great need of it.

Fleximage I think is really cool and really underrated. I love it for image manipulation because I can just store the one high quality image and then modify it as I see fit throughout the interface, instead of having to choose 1 of 3 sizes. You can even add borders, overlays, etc. Anything imagemagik can do. Then you just cache the output like any other view, so you get the best of both worlds.

Cerberus continuous integration gem

Wouldn’t say this is a tool/library necessarily but radiant cms has been a magical experience for me and I definitely feel it’s under exposed.

TaskJuggler III is a incredibly useful piece of software that’s being rewritten from scratch in Ruby. It runs with Ruby 1.9 and jRuby too. It would be great to support it properly.

has_many_polymorph i’m using for a cms is one of the most powerfull and overlooked gem/plugin (in one word you can tie anything with anything, it is tagging at the level of objects). I agree with tokumine state_machine is one amazing gem as well, object start having multiple personalities when you use it, excellent for conditional validation for example, i’m using it for a paypal integration, it’s great.

Forgot the links : has_many_polymorphs oh and compas, css made first class citizen finally. Still needs to mature. And awesome_nested_set, great tool as well.

James Golick’s is_taggable plugin. “Tagging that doesn’t want to be on steroids. It’s skinny and happy to stay that way”. Really clean code and implementation.

The Handsoap gem by Troels Knak-Nielsen’s makes dealing Soap services very Ruby. I’ve been knee deep with a Soap service recently and Handsoap has actually made it fun.

I’ll second state_machine.

I feel that YARD ( doesn’t get enough love :-(

And neither does Waves!

I really think that “Juggernaut”: is not talked about enough. I have used it in the past, and think that it could potentially change the way web apps are done. Being able to push data is pretty crucial in my opinion.

Ramaze seems to require you to understand its source code well (yeh.. it’s poorly documented), not only that but it requires indepth knowledge of Innate and Rack. Ramaze 2009.03 was much easier to understand, but is too suffered from poor docs. Until recently the only rdocs available online was generated in 2008.01. It looks to me like Sinatra is much simpler and easier to learn than Ramaze.

Sequel is hands down the best Ruby/Database abstraction layer/ORM.

Thinking Sphinx looked interesting until I realized the dependency of ActiveRecord… how about choice.. or Sequel?

Ferret looked promising a few years back.. for a while it seemed as it was unmaintained but is it back on track now?

thanks peter, we need more talk like this on Ruby(Flow)!

Xapit has great potential.

I really like the assert2 method for making test assertions. More:

Configatron for super simple app configuration.

If you’re dealing with calendar information, the cream of the crop is RiCal.

The Artificial intelligence library AI4R is worth a mention!

daemon-kit is a sure win for helping Rubyists write daemons, providing some neat generators and familiar filesystem layout for projects.

+1 for RiCal. Without it, I am certain our application would not be delivering intelligent icalendar documents.

ar-extensions ActiveRecord performance and then some.

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